STEVENSVILLE – Adam Kingsbury’s heart may be failing him, but he’s got all the love he needs from his friends, family and co-workers in Stevensville.
Kingsbury, a 16-year-old junior at Stevensville High School and a courtesy clerk at Stevensville Super 1 Foods store, had to be flown to the intensive care unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital because his heart was failing him on June 21.
He suffers from cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, and myotubular myopathy, a weak muscle condition. He has had both conditions since he was a child, but doctors are unsure of what exactly is causing his heart to fail now. He is currently on a transplant list to receive a new heart, but is waiting in limbo until a new one becomes available.
Kingsbury had to have breathing and eating tubes inserted last week, and doctors kept him alive until he had surgery Monday to insert a HeartMate pump, which helps his heart function. The surgery was successful, but he is still in intensive care with the heart pump.
Back home in Stevensville, where Kingsbury’s mother works in the video service department at Super 1, his fellow co-workers have mobilized a massive fundraising effort, bringing in more than $12,000 so far to help defray his medical costs.
“He’s a very fun kid, very caring, jovial, just a pleasure to be around,” said Super 1 manager Barry Lemon. “He’s got a very positive outlook on life. He’s very active in FFA and his church. It’s been unbelievable how the community has stepped forward for this family. It’s very much appreciated.”
Lemon said Kingsbury started getting sicker and sicker over time, until finally his mother, Kate Rochette, took him to Missoula for treatment. When her son had to be transported by Life Flight to Seattle, she had to stop working to go be by his side. Medical and incidental costs have been piling up ever since.
The employees at Super 1 donated prizes for a raffle, and local companies also contribute others. Together, they organized a “Help Heal Adam’s Heart Fund” hot dog feed on July 1-3 to raise funds as well.
“They are very willing to help people in the local community out in a time of hardship,” Lemon said.
On Thursday, Rochette wrote an update about her son’s condition, saying that he is on a heart transplant list but needs a month to recover from the surgery.
For more information, call Lemon at 777-7300 or visit giveforward.com and search the “Help Heal Adam’s Heart Fund” to donate.
Reach reporter David Erickson at 363-3300 or email@example.com.